FYI Miami: February 19, 2015
MORE PUBLIC BUSES: Miami-Dade County plans to buy up to 64 buses that are to run on thoroughfares throughout the county, including the busway in South Miami-Dade. In total, the buses are to cost up to $71.4 million, which would be funded by state and federal grants matched with local funds. The local match is to come from county surtaxes a pot of money funded by a countywide half-penny sales surtax. The buses will be powered by diesel as well as by electricity. A commission committee, the Transit and Mobility Services Committee, OK’d the purchase Feb. 11. Next, the full county commission is to give the item final consideration.
WATER, SEWER UPGRADES: A Miami-Dade County Commission Committee last week called for improvement of water and sewer service. Specifically, the item calls for the county to address the issue of water mains that aren’t up to standards. The Metropolitan Services Committee approved the resolution Feb. 11. Next, the full county commission is to consider the measure. The commission previously OK’d another initiative to upgrade county water and sewer service by using $126 million in general obligation bonds to extend sewer connections to areas now serviced by septic tanks.
COMPENSATION COSTS RISE: Compensation for private industry workers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties rose 2.1% last year, below the nationwide 2.3% increase, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The increase in South Florida in 2013 was 1.9%. Wages and salaries alone, the largest component of the compensation costs, rose 2.5% in South Florida in 2014, more than the 2.2% nationwide increase. Among the nation’s major metropolitan areas, San Jose, CA, had the highest gain in wages and salaries, 4.9%, while San Jose and Seattle led the total compensation increase at 4.8%. No big city showed a decline, though Detroit’s increase in wages was just two-tenths of one percent.
MAGAZINE TAKES FLIGHT: Beginning next week, Miami International Airport will give travelers a preview of dining, shopping and entertainment options that MIA and Miami have to offer when it launches MIA Connections, the airport’s official digital magazine available in both English and Spanish. MIA Connections will be available free via MIA’s wireless network for laptop, tablet and smartphone users who want to learn more about the global gateway during a layover or extended stay. Each quarterly issue will also showcase a new destination from MIA’s growing network of more than 150 cities around the world.